Litter crackdown: 10% spike in fixed penalty notices issued for London’s litterbugs

Littering fines in London increased by 10% between 2020 and 2021, according to government data. Some London councils are issuing thousands of fixed penalty notices for litterers, with the maximum fine reaching £ 150 in some boroughs.

Lambeth comes top for the most fines in the last year, with almost 16,000 – 42% more than in 2020. With the average fine costing culprits £ 120, Lambeth issued a total of £ 1.9 million in fines.

The next borough, Redbridge, issued more than a third fewer fines than Lambeth: just over 10,000, totaling £ 1.52 million. That’s a 44% drop from the 18,285 fines the borough issued in 2020.

Merton came third in the list, with 7,580 fines, which is a 67% rise from 2020. The borough accounted for 30% of the capital litter fines last year.

The data comes from a freedom of information request from smoking cessation experts Vape Club, as part of its Disposable Vapes Responsibility report. The request asked the 32 London borough councils for data on how many littering fines they issued last year, the average fine amounts and the total payments they received from littering fines.

London boroughs where litterers face fixed penalty notice fines of a maximum of £ 150:

Waltham Forest
Kensington and Chelsea
London boroughs where litterers face fixed penalty notices of £ 80:

Hammersmith & Fulham
Kingston upon Thames
Tower Hamlets
What litter is London dumping?
In total, London boroughs issued £ 7.14 million in fixed penalty notices last year, up from a figure of £ 7 million in 2020.

Littering smokers should watch out: 59% of Barnet’s fines for littering have been for dropping cigarette butts. In Croydon, this figure was 11% and in Newham it was 10%.

According to the most recent government data, the top UK litter item was small pieces of plastic and polystyrene (215 items per 100 meters), with cigarette stubs (46 per 100m) coming second and food packets (39 per 100m) in third place.

Dan Marchant, Director at Vape Club, says:

“The extent of littering in London is quite shocking and the increase over the last year is particularly surprising. It’s clear that more needs to be done to reduce littering, so we welcome the borough councils cracking down on the problem.

Of course, cigarette ends are a big part of the litter problem, since people generally have several cigarettes a day, usually outside. To help tackle this we’d encourage smokers to consider the wider impacts of their habit. Vaping has been proven to be the most effective smoking cessation method, and more people quitting will clearly cut down on cigarette butts on our streets. We encourage anyone using vaping products to do so responsibly and follow their local council’s advice on disposing of them. ”

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